2014 NBA Free Agents: Highlighting the Top Potential Values on Free Agent Market

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2014 NBA Free Agents: Highlighting the Top Potential Values on Free Agent Market
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

When fans think of the 2014 NBA free-agent class, the top names that come to mind are Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Greg Monroe and Dirk Nowitzki.

However, there are plenty of other players who will hit the open market and prove to be great values and make major impacts with their new teams.

While guys like Kyle Lowry, Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza may not instill the type of excitement to a fanbase that someone like Anthony would, they could end up being equally important additions in the long run.

Here are a few impending free agents who will prove to be great values, as their play on the court will far surpass the contracts they get. 

Ron Hoskins/Getty Images

 

Trevor Ariza

Ariza has bounced around the league since getting drafted in 2004, playing for six different teams.

Now with the Washington Wizards, he is coming off the best season of his career, averaging 14.4 points and 6.2 rebounds while shooting 45 percent from the field and 40 percent from three.

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

Ariza will likely sign for less than his last contractfive-year, $34 million deal with the Rockets in 2009—and may even agree to just a mid-level exception.

That means the 28-year-old could be playing the best years of his career for far less than he's worth.

Ariza has proven to be a very formidable defender, taking on the challenge of guarding the opponent's top scorer on a nightly basis. He also showcases the athleticism to get out and finish in transition. Most importantly, he brings to the table the championship experience he got from his time with the Los Angeles Lakers.

While he won't be a go-to player by any means, Ariza is more than capable of being a key role player on a championship-caliber team.

Reinhold Matay/Associated Press

 

Marcin Gortat

Another player coming off one of his best seasons with the Wizards, Gortat has the ability to be an extremely solid presence down low.

While playing just 32 minutes per game, Gortat averaged 13.2 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks and shot 54 percent from the field.

He matched those numbers in the playoffs, averaging 13 points and 10 rebounds while also putting together a historic performance in the second round against the Indiana Pacers, via Numbers Never Lie.

He is a two-way player who can defend bigs in the post and can also get out and cover guards in the pick-and-roll. He has also proven to be a reliable offensive weapon since joining the Phoenix Suns in 2010, with a soft touch around the rim and an ability to score on the block.

Gortat will likely command a contract slightly higher than the four-year, $36 million deal Tiago Splitter signed with the Spurs last year.

However, paying $10 million a year for a 30-year-old center who can be relied upon on both ends of the court is a relative steal considering the low number of productive centers in the NBA nowadays.  

Claus Andersen/Getty Images

 

Kyle Lowry

When debates center around the NBA's top point guards, it is rare that Lowry's name comes up in the discussion.

Maybe you don't hear much about him because he's playing in Toronto and not Los Angeles, but the simple fact is that Lowry played like an elite point guard by every statistical measurement this season.

Among point guards, Lowry finished fourth in the league in points (17.9), seventh in assists (7.4) and second in rebounds (4.7). He also finished with the fifth-best PER (20.20) and third-best EWA (estimated wins added), adding 13.1 victories to the 48-win Toronto Raptors, according to ESPN.

Peter Vecsey of the New York Post reported that Lowry will be asking for a deal similar to the four-year, $41 million contract that Jrue Holiday signed with Philadelphia.

While some may view that as overspending on a player who is coming off a career season, the reality is that the 28-year-old Lowry is just entering his prime and should only get better.

According to Spotrac, there are 13 point guards expected to make at least $9 million next season, with eight of them making over $12 million.

Signing Lowry would not only represent good value initially on an ascending player, but may prove to be a bargain in a couple of years if he can build upon this past season.

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